What was pleasing for Williams was the fact that Harbour Views – who was bred by top English trainer Luca Cumani and sent to Australia as an unraced horse – was shown to such advantage at his first try at further than 1600 metres.
Having won and got his rating up, Williams will now look to set him for the Feehan Stakes over 1600 metres at The Valley early in the spring – a race that gives the winner a guaranteed start in the Cox Plate.
“Johnny couldn’t have given him a better steer, it unfolded perfectly for him. It would be good to hopefully get a few more ratings points now and start to plan a spring prep with him,” he said.
“The Feehan is one we have got our ears pricked for. That would be a target for him to get a free ticket into the Cox Plate.
“He will only have a short let up, he might just have a couple of weeks in the paddock and do a bit of beach work and water walker work. For a big horse, he is very clean-winded so it doesn’t take a lot to get him back up again.”
Vanna Girl set to scale new heights
The Cox Plate could also be on the agenda for a fast-improving Queensland filly Vanna Girl, who brought her winning sequence to four when she landed the group 2 The Roses at Eagle Farm, one of the last feature events of a truncated Queensland winter carnival.
Father and son training duo Toby and Trent Edmonds landed their home state’s most prestigious race, the Stradbroke, with Tyzone last week, but believe that Vanna Girl could scale further heights in Melbourne next spring.
Edmonds Snr said after the win that the Caulfield Cup or even the Cox Plate could be targets for the daughter of Husson, who was ridden by Brad Stewart.
Love You too
Once in a while racing gives the battlers a chance to shine and 79-year old former jockey Barry Squair has got his moment in the spotlight. His unconsidered four-year-old mare Love You Lucy finished powerfully under veteran Brisbane rider Glen Colless to land the group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes at Eagle Farm.
Squair trains a small team at Toowoomba and used to ride the mare in track-work until just a few weeks ago when he came off. His wife demanded that he finally hung up his boots and let younger riders exercise his stable star!
Michael Lynch is The Age’s chief soccer reporter and also reports on motor sport and horseracing